a devotion to slavery of which he was proud, and neither then nor afterwards referring to or hinting at anything in his public life except his insane devotion to slavery.
This bit of satire, except in its being apt and well done, was tame by the side of epithets bestowed by members of Congress on one another at almost every session without any sequel of violence.
Nor does it appear that Brooks
heard, or knew of, or cared for this description of Butler
so as to make it the cause of offence.
During the first day, then, Brooks
assumed to take offence, not at anything Sumner
said about South Carolina
, for he had said nothing on that day about the State
; and thus far he had indulged only in a bit of satire common and legitimate in parliamentary tilts.
No adequate cause appearing for resentment, Brooks
's feeling on the first day must be ascribed solely to a general antipathy to the matter and style of this and other speeches of Sumner
, similar to that which two years before prompted threats of expulsion and social ostracism and instigations to violence when he replied effectually to Mason
Then as now there was a purpose to silence a voice which could not be met in debate; and the setting up of a particular injury to a person or a State was a mere cover to the real motive.
Other expressions of Brooks
to be referred to slow this clearly.
's references to Butler
on the second day were brief, and have been already given; and they were not heard by Brooks
, who was at no time present on that day. Sumner
, as will be seen, referred to Butler
's ‘omnipresence in debate’ (he having taken part in it thirty-five times), his ‘extravagance’ and ‘deviation from truth,’ his ‘incapacity of accuracy,’ and his proneness to blunders,—and this was all; and even the terms ‘deviation from truth’ were qualified by ascribing the habit to passion, which ‘saved him from the suspicion of intentional aberration.’
went so far as even at this time to recognize Butler
's ‘generous impulses;’2
and he made no imputation on Butler
's private life, or referred to any characteristic of his which did not appear in debate.
admitted about as much of himself as Sumner
charged against him when in a speech, June 13, he confessed his habitual